New Zealand farming production systems - Overview

Monday, 8 August 2022

In this section, we look at how agriculture in New Zealand compares with that in the UK including the relative size of various sectors and the farming practices used.


How do New Zealand and UK farming sectors compare?

While the area of farmland in New Zealand is lower compared with that in the UK, the average size of a farm is over three times larger compared with an average UK farm.




New Zealand

Area of farmland in 2020, million ha



No. of holdings in 2019



Average farm size (kha) 2019




As Figures 1a and 1b show, beef and sheep farms are the predominant farm type and comprise almost two thirds of the total agricultural area. Pig farms are included in the ‘other’ category but represent a very small proportion (only 150 farms out of more than 9,000).

  New Zealand farms by farm type

New Zealand agricultural area

Similarly in England, grazing livestock farms are the main farm type with 30% of farms categorised as lowland farms and 12% as Less Favoured Area (LFA) farms (2019). In terms of the agricultural area, however, the cereals sector is the largest accounting for 32% of total farmed area in England, with grazing livestock area close behind at 29%.

English farms by farm type

  English agricultural area

Click below for:

New Zealand production systems - Beef and Sheep

New Zealand production systems - Dairy

New Zealand production systems - Pigs